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Summer 2006

Article selected from our quarterly magazine dedicated to the largest and most luxurious boats with information, interviews, technical articles, images and yachting news



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Article by
Franca Urbani


This time I am really willing to go on a cruise... and that is what I will do. Together with Superyacht readers we will cruise onboard Lady Lola. This beautiful 63-meter motoryacht, built by the Dutch yard Oceanco, features marvelous wooden classical interiors, styled by the designer François Zuretti. To get to know the yacht better I ask Gino Battaglia, the famous charter captain, to take me around.


Tours on land
Many small things contribute to making a cruise successful, even anchorages and tours on land. These are especially important not only for the crew, who may take a break, but also for the guests, who after visiting interesting yet hot, damp and crowded places on land, are very happy to return onboard where they are cuddled by the yacht and her comforts.

A romantic true story
Gino Battaglia tells a true romantic story. The Owner of Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton trademarks, one of the richest men on earth nowadays, had been making the identical cruise for several years on board Lady Lola. One day, his wife asked me, with an imploring tone, if I could change something. According to the usual program, we had to make the crossing from their villa in St. Tropez to Corsica during the night. Knowing that the lady wished to see the Elba Island, I proceeded toward that direction without saying anything and dropped the anchor in the Bay of Procchio just in front of the small Marciana Marina village. At breakfast time, the gentleman called me and asked "Captain, what happened and why are we here?" Then, noticing the radiant expression on the lady's face and seeing that her amused husband was smiling because he had understood, I answered, "Messieur, I missed the course and when I realized it I thought that by then it was worth coming here!" He answered, "You are lucky, captain, I like this place!" and the lady added, "It's fantastic, isn't it?" They enjoyed themselves the whole day just like two children and at night they were very happy.

I ask him to show us the refinements that Lady Lola generously offers her guests and to let me live their same emotions. We start from the very special tender, a 9-meter Shadow which, actually, is a motorboat built in mahogany with blue leather interiors and, depending on the occasion, music. Ladies will certainly be satisfied with her appearance, nevertheless the captain tells the men about her technical data on which they might discuss later on: two 350 hp Mercruiser gasoline engines capable of propelling the tender at a speed of 45 knots. Not bad, really! Then there are two four-stroke Sea Doo's and many other water games such as a sort of banana for five persons, to be towed by the motorboat.

As regards sea activities choices are unlimited. One can decide to water-ski or to go trolling with the 13-meter Lomac Lolita. As an alternative it is possible to dive with a diving instructor - the yacht has a complete set of diving equipment for 5 persons and compressors for bottle charging. Are you fed up with the sea? Then why not play golf, since nothing is impossible onboard Lady Lola there goes the flying bridge turning into a golf course. Isn't it fantastic? For relaxation after so much activity ideal resting is in the flying deck whirlpool where water may be cold or warm as preferred. Now, it is lunchtime, an important moment of life on board and a very high profile happening on Lady Lola's. The dining room is of great effect and the table is superbly laid. The two chefs, Claudio and Jorge, after examining food preferences, concentrate on the preparation of the menus. The choice is extremely varied, from the Japanese Sushi and Sashimi, to the Mexican, Caribbean, European and Arab cuisine, just to make a few examples. Lunch is a glamorous succession of dishes with incredible tastes and flavors. Naturally, delicious wine accompanies food. In general, the wine bottles are chosen with the client before the cruise otherwise it is the captain who makes the choice, preferring Italian wines, in particular Sassicaia del '97, Conte della Vipera, Ormellaia, Cà del Bosco - white, red, brut - and Barbaresco. Dinner is even more important and elegant than midday lunch, it is a magic moment and when it is over the captain goes from one guest to another to gather the impressions on the finishing day, to hear everyone's wishes and to set with them the following day's program. Then, night entertainment starts: Karaoke with Renato, the crew engineer plays one of the 100 Stanway grand pianos existing in the whole world and sings just like Julio Iglesias being therefore widely appreciated by the female public. As an alternative, soft and romantic melodies may be played. Those who prefer movies climb to the flying deck where a special screen may be installed for this purpose. At the end of the day, guests go to their cabins; this "floating castle" has marvelous suites with bathrooms enriched by beige and blue streaked marbles. Lady Lola bathroom fittings and... dreams are golden! Gino Battaglia counts over 1760 chartering days. On one hand, he is capable of guaranteeing safety to the guests thanks to his great experience at sea, on the other hand he is also capable of taking care of them, showing that their well-being and safety is his first priority. He succeeds in putting them at ease by establishing nice relationships both when they are onboard the motoryacht as well as when they are engaged in some sport. During the cruise, guests totally entrust themselves to the crew and to the captain, who have to learn their tastes right from the start. They must grasp their way of enjoying their stay onboard: do they love solitary places or, on the contrary, do they like to appear in mundane spots, do they appreciate a romantic cruise or do they need privacy for their business trip? After thirty years as a captain of charter yachts, Gino developed the right feeling for making a cruise onboard Lady Lola successful. Describing the motoryacht interiors would take too long but for those who never stepped on board the photographs speak by themselves. Everywhere wood is dominant, ceilings are lacquered in white, flooring is covered with refined rugs and interior decor features superior quality glasses and paintings.